We Are Top Of The League!
Saturday, 25th Sep 2010 22:17 by portvale4ever
Vale went top of League 2 this afternoon courtesy of a magnificent strike from the fantastic Marc Richards and a coolly taken second from Louis Dodds. Is was hard work though, Accrington Stanley showed exactly why they were unbeatable before their trip to Vale Park, frustrating us with a doggedly defensive display in the first half.
It was extremely hard work. Stanley spent the first half hour of the game doing whatever it took to preserve equality with Vale, this included conning free-kicks from a desperately poor ref, time-wasting, and parking the proverbial bus in front of their goal. Our visitors showed little ambition in creating any opportunities for themselves. It's easy to see why they have been involved in so many 0-0 draws thus far. They were ugly to watch, and clearly their own Fans find them a turn-off, only a handful making the relatively short trip down the M6 from Lancashire.
We finally made the break through on the half hour, Marc Richards volleying home an absolute screamer. During the following 15 minutes we could - and should - have added a couple more, Justin Richards twice blasting over when he ought to have done better - the first chance created by himself, teasing the Stanley defence before firing over the bar, the second chance a volley after incredible work from Man-Of-The-Match Gary Roberts, our midfield maestro slipping two defenders before crossing for Justin who blazed his volley way over. He had the time to control the ball and pick his spot, but opted for a 'hollywood' finish.
The second half was a completely different affair. Stanley came out with far more purpose and dominated possession for large periods. We just couldn't keep hold of the ball. Despite their hold on the game Stanley were still unable to give Stuart Tomlinson any major concerns.
Much needed substitutions were made by Micky Adams. Jemal Johnson replaced Sean Rigg, Louis Dodds came on for Justin Richards.
And it was Johnson and Dodds who combined in the last ten minutes to assure us of victory. Johnson broke down the left, then found Dodds in acres of space who slotted the ball low to the keepers right.
Defensively we were once again superb. The back line of Adam Yates, Gareth Owen, John McCombe and Lee Collins is undoubtedly the strongest in League 2, they are rock solid. In midfield Gary Roberts again pulled the strings, spraying passes all around Vale Park, Anthony Griffith did what he always does - throwing himself into tackles and breaking up play. Sean Rigg was a constant menace out on the left during the first half, and Tommy Fraser battled valiantly out on the right - not his natural position, but he never let us down.
Up front the Richards 'twins' worked tirelessly and created problems for the Stanley defence all afternoon. It was also good to see Doug Loft come on near the death, after recovering from a punctured lung. The game ended with the announcement that Wycombe had scored a last minute equaliser against Shrewsbury. We were top of the league!
On Tuesday night we have a massive game at home to Shrewsbury Town. It's the perfect opportunity for us to stamp our authority on this league...
Photo: Action Images
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